Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg was forced to drive to work after his policies caused airlines to cancel flights around the country.
Secretary Buttigieg was scheduled to fly from Washington, DC to New York City last week when the shutdown occurred. After his travel plans were halted by his own policies, Buttigieg had to make the roughly 5 hour drive instead.
The Biden official was not alone in his misery, either. Saturday saw 856 flights canceled with another 5997 delayed. That came on top of a total of 8,900 delays and 1,470 cancellations shut down US travelers on Friday and more than 1,700 flights were canceled on Thursday coming into the Juneteenth weekend.
“That is happening to a lot of people, and that is exactly why we are paying close attention here to what can be done and how to make sure that the airlines are delivering,” Buttigieg said after his drive to NYC.
The travel chaos came as Pete Buttigieg decided to force airlines to stress test their summer travel schedules early. He said the goal is to make sure they can handle their flights with their current staff and to make them add new customer service workers.
If the airlines discover that they have insignificant resources during the stress test, they could have to cut down their summer flight schedules significantly. Buttigieg has also threatened to take federal action against airlines who fail to live up to consumer protection standards.
After receiving significant criticism for critical infrastructure failures during the pandemic like a lack of shipping, Buttigieg has made restoring airline services one of his top priorities.
The reason the government chose this weekend to cause the hectic travel schedules is to try and see if the airlines are actually capable of handling Fourth of July weekend travel, which is only 2 weeks away.
With one of the biggest travel weekends in the country coming up, how do you feel the airlines will perform? Do you think they will cancel thousands of flights again like this week or do you think Buttigieg’s plan will actually work in time?